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What would you do if you weren't in finance?

I think we all have those days where we want to pull a Chris McCandless and go be a mountain man. If you weren't in finance, what would you do?

I have a knack for extreme stuff. I think I'd get my free-fall skydiving certification and PADI certification and maybe do that stuff. I went skydiving for the first time this summer and it was a fucking thrill - definitely something I want to do again. Another crazy item on the bucket list is to shark dive without a cage. With that said, I think I'd maybe instruct courses in those areas if I wasn't in finance. Or do some personal training, but I think that'd be a tough living financially.

Comments (239)

Sep 3, 2015

Yer Mom

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    • 5
Sep 3, 2015

Original. Thanks!

Sep 3, 2015

Thanks, @AndyLouis for the nice graphic...if that is who I think it is, that guy is a total douche canoe

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Sep 3, 2015

yeah Dan Blitz.. idolized by a few friends of mine. idk he's the first guy i thought of, though yes i agree on the douche canoe part, i followed him on IG for a bit and got bored

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Sep 3, 2015

Understood. I mean...I idolize him as well if it was just the bitches and guns thing...just the free life style. The part that annoys me is the whole beating women thing, etc. If I'm not mistaken, he's also raised on daddy's money, too.

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Best Response
Sep 3, 2015

I'd like to be a cult leader.

    • 5
Sep 4, 2015
SSits:

I'd like to be a cult leader.

"You make more money as a leader, but you have more fun as a follower".

I'm not even in finance, but flying was a dream of mine, so I'd be an airline pilot.
With Cathay Pacific.
It's the BB of airlines.

Sep 4, 2015

Hi Bay Street, I attend a non-target with<3.0gpa but have flight experience from when i sat in a plane last year. What are my chances of breaking into the BB of airlines as a pilot? Is Cathay an upper BB? Where is it on the league tables? thx

    • 1
Sep 7, 2015
Bay Street Fool:

SSits: I'd like to be a cult leader.

"You make more money as a leader, but you have more fun as a follower".

I'm not even in finance, but flying was a dream of mine, so I'd be an airline pilot.
With Cathay Pacific.
It's the BB of airlines.

No way, Jose. Singapore Airlines, or Emirates, maybe. Better service all around, and cuter air stewardesses.

Sep 14, 2015

I'd say Advertising or Tech (fields I deem interesting). Don't know what those answers would result to. But I think as long as you could sell your way it would be okay.

Waiting for other responses as I'm getting curious too.

Sep 14, 2015

I don't know necessarily if it is the "right" answer, but I'd say law, or maybe medicine. Those are my personal choices though. I'd imagine a really good answer is a field you are also interested in, that shares some characteristics with finance, and you can explain why they are similar and why you like finance/IBD better.

Sep 14, 2015

Invent IBD - or is that a cop out?

    • 1
Sep 3, 2015

Male model

Sep 14, 2015

probably consulting, accounting, or law

Sep 14, 2015

lawyer

Sep 14, 2015

Tech

Born in hell, forged from suffering, hardened by pain.

Sep 14, 2015

Id say consulting, accounting, or ... say, um law?

Sep 14, 2015

3rd world country warlord. Just kidding.

I'd be a musician or policy/political analyst or theoretical research anthropologist. Does working at the FED help towards any of those ends?

Sep 14, 2015

Since you've excluded the only things I'd be qualified to do, I guess that leaves politics or entrepreneurship.

Sep 14, 2015

Healthcare management

Sep 14, 2015

Engineering

To the starving man, beans are caviar

Sep 14, 2015

Lawyer or tech entrepreneur.

Sep 14, 2015

.

Sep 14, 2015

Politics or entrepreneurship

Sep 14, 2015

sitting on my carpet, eating my hose

Sep 14, 2015

Hospital Management

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Sep 14, 2015
happypantsmcgee:

Hospital Management

....paging Dr. Kelso

Sep 14, 2015

Math.

Sep 14, 2015

gym teacher.... top 10 under-rated career right thur

GBS

Sep 14, 2015
GoldmanBallSachs:

gym teacher.... top 10 under-rated career right thur

I keep getting older, and the girls stay the same age.

Sep 14, 2015
JDimon:

Discuss.

Not allowed to say consulting, accounting, or law.

Well Jamie, funny you should ask this. I am actually starting to write a business plan to pitch to a few family members to open/expand on an existing family business. So I guess entrepreneurship.

Sep 14, 2015

Petroleum engineering

Sep 14, 2015

Tour Caddy

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.

Sep 14, 2015

ESPN 'analyst'

Sep 14, 2015

Pilot

Sep 3, 2015

Mortician. It's about to be a booming industry.

Sep 3, 2015
jankynoname:

Mortician. It's about to be a booming industry.

$SCI

Sep 14, 2015

I would answer it honestly. What else are you passionate about besides finance? I'm not entirely sure if this is correct way to approach it , but for my interviews I simply stated that I wanted to be an engineer before getting interested in finance.

Sep 14, 2015

Film director.
Diplomat / Political activist.
Physicist / Astronaut.
Writer / Philosopher.
Hotelier.

Can't really picture myself doing the same thing for an entire lifetime either way.

Sep 14, 2015

Politician/Lobbyist. I say this because its a sweet gig. You get a good amount of vacation days. You get paid well, a decent salary and phenomenal perks. You will develop connections with some of the most powerful people in the country.

Sep 14, 2015

Do politicians really get paid that well? I assumed that most of the time it was that wealthier individuals tend to become politicians, as opposed to getting paid from being a politician...

Sep 14, 2015

In-house counsel.

Sep 14, 2015

Got this in an interview once. Said I'd go sailing.

Sep 14, 2015

Well the salaries from the government is only a couple hundred thousand, but you have to keep in mind, their income from other ventures is MUCH more. One of them alums from my school used to be an analyst at a PE firm in D.C., and they had a congressman there as an advisor. That congressman got paid 350k for just lending the firm his name and title. Their rationality is that a PE firm will be able to attract plenty more investors and have a lot more credibility with a congressman on the board. Many companies such as fortune 500 companies have former politicians on their boards. Other things include speaking fees. I know Congressman and Senators could make anywhere from $10k - $15k a day just by showing up to events and speaking. Most of the income you make will be outside of your government salary. I would choose being a politician over any position in finance, but getting your foot in the door is WAY WAY harder than finance.

Sep 14, 2015

But did this guy actually go into politics from the beginning of his career? Or did he do some finance first and then politics?

Sep 14, 2015

as a politician you have the moral burden of knowing you are in the scummiest profession of the entire world (yeah a lot worse than finance)

Sep 3, 2015

Speech writer.

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Sep 8, 2015

I gave you a silver banana for having the same idea as me but as a speechwriter in another universe I hope you realize its one fucking word.

Sep 3, 2015

If only my iPhone autocorrect knew it is one word

Sep 14, 2015

Also, why?

Sep 14, 2015

Pro baseball GM. A mixture of quantitative and subjective analysis of baseball players. You are basically playing in a real life fantasy league. Also, taking friends to your box to watch games would be fucking sweet. I'd wake up each morning with a smile glued across my face.

Writing code sounds miserable, life is too short to do that unless you are a prodigy. That being said, different strokes for different folks.

"For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

Sep 14, 2015

Professional soccer player sucks I didn't start to play till I was 14 years. However still manage to get to a very good level during my high school career would've probably being really good if I played as a kid.

Sep 14, 2015

I'd have bought a small bar on a Caribbean Island and be a bartender. I may still. I don't think it's necessary to say why.

Or the academic route and be a tenured philosophy professor. It would be great to get paid to think and talk shit all day long.

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Sep 14, 2015

I thought we decided on Costa Rica...

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Sep 14, 2015
Dingdong08:

I'd have bought a small bar on a Caribbean Island and be a bartender. I may still. I don't think it's necessary to say why.

I know a disbarred lawyer who did this. Might be the greatest life ever.

Sep 14, 2015
Dingdong08:

I'd have bought a small bar on a Caribbean Island and be a bartender. I may still. I don't think it's necessary to say why.

Or the academic route and be a tenured philosophy professor. It would be great to get paid to think and talk shit all day long.

I've said this time and time again a propos the small-island bartender scenario. Similarly, I don't see it as necessary to explain why. Cheers to you buddy.

Sep 14, 2015

Photojournalist or travel blogger, anything that allows me to travel, have fun and make some money at the same time

Sep 14, 2015

An influential writer and/or a reputable radio host. It's great to be heard.

Sep 14, 2015

investment banker fo life

seriously if IB doesn't pan out for me, I have no clue where life will take me!

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Sep 14, 2015
ramenmonkey1:

investment banker fo life

seriously if IB doesn't pan out for me, I have no clue where life will take me!

This was more or less the inspiration for the thread. I never thought about it before.

I knew there would be some funny answers on here, I like the people that have a list of like 5 ready to go. Lol.

Where's @DickFuld? He needs to come here and shit on my thread already.

Sep 14, 2015

High School AP Teacher. Teaching Honors/AP is an easy pass as you don't have to deal with as much problem students. Seems easy enough, and probably won't get boring especially since I like to teach.

Too bad my chalkboard skills are horrible, though in a few years everything will be transitioned into chromebooks and powerpoints.

Sep 14, 2015

Military Special Forces. To be part of a team bound by life and death, closest thing to a brotherhood. If it wasn't for the pointless wars we seem to be sent on these days, I'd have done a few years military (I'm UK). I dont see any glory or heroism in it, the being part of something like that is what appeals.

Sep 14, 2015

Something that pays me to travel around the world while working less than 40 hours a week. Experiencing new cultures and places is fun, and so is meeting new people.

Incoming Ash Ketchum, Pokemon Master
Literally a problem, solve for both X and Y, please and thank you.
Hugh Myron: "Are there any guides on here for getting a top girlfriend? Think banker/lawyer/doctor. I really don't want to go mid-tier"

Sep 14, 2015
Red3:

Something that pays me to travel around the world while working less than 40 hours a week. Experiencing new cultures and places is fun, and so is meeting new people.

Anthony Bourdain's gig

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Sep 14, 2015

Playboy photographer

    • 1
Sep 14, 2015

I would become a rapper. If I only I could rap.

Sep 14, 2015

Pornstar

Sep 14, 2015
tengleha:

Pornstar

Well you still can do it - http://uk.businessinsider.com/lazard-intern-quits-...

The way Ah see it, is that it took a revolution f a bihllion people for your darn short to work out!

Sep 14, 2015

My two passions outside of finance are basketball and fashion (well, not all fashion, just menswear). I'd love to work for an NBA team in some capacity. Being a GM would be cool, but even just being a video coordinator would be cool as well (that's how Eric Spoelstra got his start in the NBA). On the menswear side, I think being a buyer for one of the high-end department stores (Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Saks 5th Ave) would be sweet -- just traveling around the world to different mills and fashion houses and choosing what to stock in the store. I wouldn't want to be a tailor or a designer or anything along those lines. I know a bespoke tailor here in NYC who is Savile Row-trained and works 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for an ever-growing client base. That's not much better than IB hours.

Sep 14, 2015

How does everybody feel about plastic surgeon? Strictly doing implants in Beverly Hills

Sep 14, 2015

I would say an air force fighter pilot or a commercial pilot

Sep 14, 2015

selling wine in latin america

OH WAITLOL

Sep 14, 2015

I'd sell drugs and would have the best managed operation in town (negative NWC from day 1).

Sep 14, 2015

Would probably work as a soft eng. for SpaceX.

Sep 14, 2015

Would most likely have been a zoologist

Sep 14, 2015

Something along the lines of astronomy or biology... Or a complete different path and solely focus on being an athlete, preferably doing something like soccer or MMA.

As for explanations, I'm just fascinated by science in general and astronomy particularly gets me (blame mainly Neil DgT for this). And for the sports, I've always been doing them; I just absolutely love sports. Would be fun to take a professional career although you would have to sacrifice everything else due to the fierce competition.

"Suffer today and live the rest of your life as a champion!"

Sep 3, 2015

1) Park ranger somewhere sick like Glacier or Yellowstone
2) Floyd Mayweather

Sep 14, 2015

Probably a mountaineer or a travel blogger.

Sep 14, 2015

Department of State or the Gates Foundation.

Sep 14, 2015
  1. First and foremost, I'd run my own business. This is actually something I'm pursuing while in school, and, if it picks up, may be what I do instead of finance.
  2. I suppose this is a variation of the former, but I would consider being a drug dealer, not even joking. I think I'd be able to create layers of power that could preclude any chance of getting caught, and the profit margins possible would make the risks worth it.
  3. I'd also like to go into politics, as a libertarian who leans right. I feel like my ideas, those of free markets and personal responsibly, really would benefit America, and I've been interested in politics since before high school.
  4. Professional poker player.
  5. Scuba diver or something near the ocean.
  6. I'd kind of like to just travel and then publish a review of places via Youtube and a blog.
Sep 14, 2015

NBA GM - I had an offer to be an advance scout for the Knicks (scouting other NBA teams) or finance out of college and I chose the money. I don't regret my decision one bit, but it would've been cool being around basketball 24/7. It's always a fallback option.

Sep 14, 2015
Whgm45:

NBA GM - I had an offer to be an advance scout for the Knicks (scouting other NBA teams) or finance out of college and I chose the money. I don't regret my decision one bit, but it would've been cool being around basketball 24/7. It's always a fallback option.

Tell us more about the Knicks scouting gig. How?

Sep 14, 2015

Poet/musician like Leonard Cohen (without my manager stealing my retirement fund). It's a hard slog to build a reputation and career but you need to come from a certain place to come up with lines - of words or another variety if that's your thing.

And then there's the groupies....

Sep 14, 2015

Movie director/ producer.

Sep 14, 2015

Sales for an international company that would allow me to travel around the world!

Sep 14, 2015

Ski instructor somewhere in Utah or Colorado

Sep 14, 2015

enterprise sales..... close deals, eat steaks, models and bottles on company dime, get super close with f500 ceo's as friends.

Sep 14, 2015

National Geographic photographer. You get to travel the world and it generally seems like one of the less dangerous photojournalism gigs.

Or a museum curator. Sounds extremely nerdy and slow-paced, but after working in a loud, fast-paced environment I could think of nothing better than walking around a musuem all day by myself. I'm also a big history guy so I live for this shit.

Next stop: Flavortown!

Sep 14, 2015

guitar hero rockstar playing in mainstream rockband (Aerosmith, Rolling stones. Bon jovi, Gn R...)

Sep 14, 2015

From a pure fantasy standpoint? Formula 1 racing driver, fighter pilot (looked into it, but didn't have the vision), PGA golfer, owner/manager of a high-end car dealership group, or host of Top Gear (or something similar).

Sep 14, 2015

Successful club promoter in a major non U.S. city

Sep 14, 2015

Automotive engineer

Sep 14, 2015

Yacht Captain. Frickin love boats.

"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets."

-John D. Rockefeller

Sep 14, 2015

One of my friends from Highschool does this. Went into the Coast Guard and now he just Yachts all day long up the east coast and in Caribbean. Kid's dumb as a rock but damn he's living the dream.

Sep 14, 2015

PGA Tour golfer, that's the life right there.

Sep 14, 2015

Porn Star
Cop
Teaching Professor
Nightclub Owner

I plan to do the last three when I quit IB

Sep 14, 2015

I'd be a pornstar

Sep 14, 2015

Thank god that didn't happen!

Sep 14, 2015

I'd be a wilderness guide for an international guiding outfit. You get to travel a lot, and see things that most people will never see in their lifetimes.

Sep 14, 2015

Pornstar !!

Sep 14, 2015

I would be a humanities professor. Just talk bullshit all day long , write a few bullshit papers, and get tenured. Sounds like a good little life to me.

Sep 14, 2015

food critic

Sep 14, 2015

Ski patrol or Wakeboard instructor
Own a watersports store somewhere in Northern Michigan, maybe on Torch lake or something

Sep 14, 2015

comedian, basketball player, physical therapist, youtube sensation lol

Sep 14, 2015

Airforce pilot for sure

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Sep 3, 2015

Entrepreneurship as a career.
Dating supermodels as a hobby.

Also, why would you want to "pull a Chris McCandless" considering he died while out on his adventure....

Sep 3, 2015

Yeah, exactly. That doesn't sound all that bad some days...

Sep 14, 2015

If you can't run the bank, rob the bank.

Sep 14, 2015

Money = Banking > Women = Dating Coach > Power = Politician

Sep 14, 2015
Human:

Money = Banking > Women = Dating Coach > Power = Politician

First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women. Dumbass.

Sep 14, 2015

Engineering. Some sort of Biotech maybe

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Sep 14, 2015

Pro Surfer

Sep 14, 2015

Medicine.

Sep 14, 2015

teacher, grade school

Sep 14, 2015

poker.

started playing casually with friends while in high school, then moved onto online/a little casino play in college. kind of had to give it up due to time constraints but if i had a lot of free time, would definitely love getting back into the game.

Sep 14, 2015

Mechanical or Electrical Engineering

Sep 14, 2015

I honest and truly would go into Topiary....I was marveled by it as a child and wish I took it up and made a career from it. But money talks and bullshit jobs dont pay the bills.

Eventus stultorum magister.

Sep 14, 2015

Firefighter or Astronomy

Sep 14, 2015

Make spreadsheets of every one of my schools alumni who are in all the different industries which I could go in to and then cold call every single one of them, while upkeeping my spreadsheet meticulously.

"...all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

  • Schopenhauer
    • 1
Sep 14, 2015
seabird:

Make spreadsheets of every one of my schools alumni who are in all the different industries which I could go in to and then cold call every single one of them, while upkeeping my spreadsheet meticulously.

You and I think alike. I also maintain a massive spreadsheet to keep in touch with my contacts. :-)

Sep 14, 2015

A degenerate Gambler

Sep 3, 2015

own a nightclub in Milan, a house on Lake Como and a yacht on the med

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Sep 14, 2015

balling in the NBA brah

Sep 14, 2015

Sports Agent
(ie Jerry Maguire)

Sep 14, 2015

Hang gliding instructor.

Sep 14, 2015

Bodybuilder and open my own gym

Sep 14, 2015

Golf pro.

Sep 14, 2015

Start my own startup.

Sep 14, 2015

Professional degenerate. Na, but in all seriousness opening up a gym sounds pretty sweet.

GBS

Sep 14, 2015

Tour Pro for sure.

Sep 14, 2015

Pro Golfer and teach after retiring.

Sep 14, 2015

CIA Case Officer

Sep 14, 2015

porn star

Sep 14, 2015

Fly fishing guide or writer. Two activities that almost necessitate heavy drinking and transcendental perspective.

I was taught that the human brain was the crowning glory of evolution so far, but I think it's a very poor scheme for survival.

Sep 14, 2015
Tolland15:

Fly fishing guide or writer. Two activities that almost necessitate heavy drinking and transcendental perspective.

Are you in the NE? I fish upstate NY and Vermont.

Sep 14, 2015
Tolland15:

Fly fishing guide or writer. Two activities that almost necessitate heavy drinking and transcendental perspective.

I like this a lot - same here.

Hey, you can do both - the thing about FFguide is money... I heard they don't make a lot... but you live a life of wilderness far aways from printers and cubicles...

"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one...just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

'The Great Gatsby' - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sep 14, 2015

percussionist, classical

Sep 14, 2015

Producer of an entertainment agency in East Asia. Do you have any idea the kind of revenue those cookie-cutter Korean popstars are pulling in right now?

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Sep 14, 2015

Lean cuisine coupon dealer

Sep 14, 2015
Abdel:

Lean cuisine coupon dealer

Hit me up if you ever need a big customer.

Sep 14, 2015

Teach English overseas or CIA (maybe clandestine or analyst of some sort).

Sep 14, 2015

open a brewery... I'm a homebrewer and this is the ultimate dream, if it was to become a reality I'd drop buyside finance in a second

Sep 14, 2015

Genealogist

Sep 14, 2015

career counselor

Sep 14, 2015

Philosopher - not just the drunken arm chair type but an actual professor of Philosophy.

Sep 14, 2015

Racing cars or some sort of position in the automotive industry.

Sep 14, 2015

Chef hands down.

Sep 14, 2015

Become a pro Thai Boxer and move to Thailand, while working on some Physics in my spare time...

"Every man should lose a battle in his youth, so he does not lose a war when he is old"

Sep 14, 2015

I'm surprised it took so long for someone to say "brewmaster."

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Sep 14, 2015

Pro fighter. MMA.

Sep 14, 2015

Fly-fishing lodge owner, Pro poker player, Brewery owner. Take your pick.

Sep 14, 2015

If I couldn't do finance, I would try to open up a casual dining restaurant. If that worked, I would either grow the business or train as a chef and open up a more formal restaurant.

Sep 14, 2015

Professional fitness model

Sep 14, 2015

Physcology n philosophy... Then make my own talk show or blog

Sep 14, 2015

If I wasn't doing finance, I'd have more time to do my girlfriend.

On a more serious note, 'though, I'd probably run my own set of supplement shops and maybe (quite possibly not due to too severe price-ruining competition from large branches) even a gym.

Sep 14, 2015

Rapper

Sep 14, 2015
TheKid1:

Rapper

lol

Sep 14, 2015

Drift in Tokyo.

Sep 14, 2015

Food critic

Sep 14, 2015

fighter pilot -> really good fighter pilot -> astronaut

Sep 14, 2015

three-card monte operator

Sep 14, 2015

Probably default back to poker for money. Not sure if I have any other passions besides finance that could be viable career opportunities. Club owner/manager could be a sweet gig.

Sep 14, 2015

History teacher

Sep 14, 2015

become a professional downhill skier.

Sep 14, 2015

Med School

Sep 14, 2015

Sell crack to the kids

Sep 14, 2015

I'd be careful about talking for too long about outside interests like death metal during an interview. Perhaps the interviewer wants to be sure you are an interesting person, but you do not want to waste valuable time that could be used convincing the person that you can actually do the job you are applying for. I have interviewed kids who get so excited over a common interest that they think will give them a leg up that they talk way too long about it...20 minutes later im like "nice kid, but i have no idea whether he can do this job".

Sep 4, 2015
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